In The News

Make the Right Decision When Choosing a Carrier

By Brandon Baxter - Staff Writer
Posted Apr 15th 2024 8:00AM


Making the decision to lease your truck on with a company that will help provide the freight needed to turn a profit can be quite a harrowing undertaking. How do you know you’re making the right choice when deciding who provides you with the best freight opportunities?

Perhaps the most important question you should be asking yourself is, what is best for me and my situation? The following considerations should be made as your process of choosing a carrier unfolds.

Who’s The Boss?

The first thing to keep in mind is that you are the master of your own truck, so you decide what you do with it and where you go.

Do you already own your truck and you’re simply looking for a place that will help you keep it moving? If so, your decision should be a business move based on what type of freight you’ll be hauling, where and how often. Only you know what’s needed to keep your financial wheels turning, so make sure your choice of carrier will cater to your needs and expectations.

If you don’t own your truck, perhaps you’re leasing it from a dealership, then you’ll want to make sure the company you’re interested in signing with will accept the machine you’re piloting. Most will be accommodating, but there are some out there who can afford to be picky regarding what type of equipment they’ll allow.

Choose wisely. Not only will you be considering the same queries as if you’re already sole owner of your truck, but you’ll also want to make sure that the loads they provide will be sufficient enough to accommodate your truck payment. Every penny is going to count, remember that.

Know What You’re Hauling

Once you’ve established which company you’ll lease to, make sure their freight is something you’re qualified to handle and feel comfortable hauling.

Do you have a hazmat endorsement? Put it to use with a carrier that supplies hazardous material freight. Most companies will pay higher dollar if you’re able to haul goods that require such an endorsement.

The same goes if you’re looking to pull tankers, or maybe you have experience with reefers or flatbeds. There’s more to the trucking life than dry van opportunities, so make yourself a valuable commodity that any company would be happy to have in their fleet.

Check All The Boxes

The best way to find out what a company is offering an owner operator is to ask questions. Lots of questions! It never hurts to perform your own due diligence via quick Google or Glassdoor search on your prospective carriers of choice. Make a pros and cons list if you need to. But once you’ve done that, pick up the phone and call a recruiter or representative with those companies.

Ask questions that pertain to your particular needs and expectations. What type of miles can be anticipated? If home-time is important to you, ask them how long you’ll be expected to stay on the road. What does their weekly settlement look like, and what type of deductions can be expected?

And if a sign-on bonus is offered, make sure to read ALL the fine print. There are almost always stipulations that must be met if you’re going to qualify for and receive the entire bonus. You know what you’re worth, so go out and get it!

Hit The Road

Finally, once you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s, prepare to enjoy the freedom that is the open road. You’ve already done the hard work of finding the perfect fit for you, the easy part is watching the world go by from the best seat in your house. You’re going to like the view.